Why Did The King Of Rock n’ Roll Shoot Up His ’71 Pantera?

When is a 1971 DeTomaso Pantera worth more with bullet holes in it? When it formerly belonged to “The King,” Elvis Presley. According to Jalopnik, Elvis gave this ’71 Pantera as a gift to his then girlfriend Linda Thompson in 1974 and shot up the car in a rage after an argument with her.

The DeTomaso Pantera was a mid-engined, Italo-American exotic sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealers from 1971 thru 1975. When Ford nixed importation in 1975, production continued for several years afterwards bumping the total build to approximately 7,200 vehicles.

Powered by a 351 Cleveland producing 330hp and a ZF transaxle, the combination of exotic Italian supercar bodywork and big cube V8 torque was a novel concept back in the day. It could accelerate from 0-60 in 5.5 seconds

The early cars were troublesome and had many problems. The monocoque body wasn’t very crash worthy, rust proofing was non-existent, and the cars were prone to breaking down…

Which brings us back to this Elvis owned Pantera. Apparently he and Linda Thompson had an argument and Elvis wanted to split via a smoky burnout. But alas the car wouldn’t start. In a rage, Elvis shot the car up. Two holes on the steering wheel and one on the floor pan remain today.

You can see Elvis’s Pantera at The Petersen Auto Museum during a special run this month along with all the other attractions of this major car culture shrine in Los Angeles. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, no firearms allowed.




About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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